Monday, February 26, 2007

Writing articles is more than the key to success - it's a key to sanity

I actually started writing articles months ago, the oldest back in November. Though the reason I had for these was to add to my books, as I was working to wrap up Go Thunk Yourself, Compleat! As I found out about articles, I started seeing these take a slightly different form. But I quit writing these as the book wrapped up, and I had other books to edit and publish.

Now I'm being "pushed" to get some articles out and make the marketing sell the books. I dusted off some of these articles - trying one from the archives and one from a blog entry - and they both did fine. Only published them each on two article directories so far. There are more good directories to find. (The funniest one was a paid site - and they said they charged less than others. This is like the real vanity presses who sell you on the idea of paying them to publish your book, while Lulu does it for nothing up front. Let the buyer beware.)

However, this is very satisfying work. The hardest work is writing fast enough to get the Muse's concept out before it vanishes (replaced by more mundane ideas).

Another interesting one is where they stop accepting new authors on some sites. Run into this before. Like these guys never heard of the Law of Attraction or believe in having a business plan. If you can't handle the expansion, get out of the kitchen - which is what they do by shutting the doors. The greatest articles directories are ones with very simple applications and instant access. They run as an Content Management System, meaning they can be easily configured on the top of most any computer with a database.

Ok, back to our marvelous life. Once I get a dozen articles posted to fifty or so different article directories, then I'll be doing OK with all this. Other than that, I'll have to revamp my Lulu storefront to make sure it now becomes a sales page. With my upgrade of, I'll be able to handle more traffic. And I want to start collecting email addresses so that I can start sending out my own newsletter, plus keeping my own articles available for download and RSS collection. All the nice goodies which will make this a tidy income source. At least that's the plan.

Next on the agenda is working out how to write "media releases", which is a bit different from press releases. I'll practice by writing sales pages and releases for all these 30-odd books I've written, plus the MP3's and the CD.

Right now, I'm blogging to take a break from all this cut-and-paste into their programs. Figure I can keep a dozen or more sites open to their submission pages and so be able to get my articles published to each one in turn. One podcast I listened to said to write an article and then publish it to a hundred directories. Whew. But then it keeps coming back to me thousands of times in return. So I just have to get going on this.

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update 022307
technical note: Firefox has an interesting ability to open many different links, each to their own tab. This makes the deal of posting the same article to many different article directories simpler. Make a page with all the links on it. Select the whole page. Open all the links in tabs. Work one tab at a time, posting your article (from NotePad clone) to each site. Firefox now has a built-in spell-checker, so this is much better. I don't know that you could have 100 tabs going, but I'll try it with twenty and we'll see...

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